Read our Preserved benefits summary guide [PDF 166 KB] to better understand common situations and the manner in which benefits may be released early. You generally cannot access any part of your compulsorily preserved MilitarySuper benefit before you reach your preservation age with three exceptions:
- Total and permanent incapacity
- Approval of the Department of Human Services (DHS) on specified grounds such as compassionate grounds
- Severe financial hardship.
Early access is not available to current contributing members.
Total and permanent incapacity
Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, trustee of MilitarySuper, may approve payment of an invalidity benefit to you where you have become totally and permanently incapacitated, in which case you will full access to your preserved benefit.
DHS approval on specified grounds
The Department of Human Services (DHS) may approve early payment of some of your preserved MilitarySuper benefit on specified grounds which generally are:
- compassionate grounds such as when you otherwise cannot meet your medical and associated expenses for a life-threatening or chronic pain condition, or expenses associated with palliative care for you or your dependants
- funeral expenses for a dependant
- potential foreclosure of a mortgage on your principal place of residence.
In these circumstances, please visit the DHS website for application of early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds.
Severe financial hardship
Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, trustee of MilitarySuper, may grant the early release of a limited amount of your preserved benefit before you reach your preservation age on grounds of severe financial hardship.
To be eligible for severe financial hardship, you must:
- complete our Application for early release of MilitarySuper preserved and/or ancillary benefits on grounds of severe financial hardship form [PDF 1 MB] including provision of the amount you require to overcome your financial hardship
- provide written evidence (see below) dated not more than 21 days before your application , that you have been in receipt of Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks and be receiving such payments at the time of your application
- provide evidence of not being able to meet your reasonable and immediate family living expenses.
Please read our Early access to your superannuation benefits factsheet [PDF 342 KB].
Written evidence required is a letter, concerning yourself only, from either Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs confirming that you are in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth income support payment.
Centrelink provides this letter as Form Q230. Veterans’ Affairs provides a letter titled Release of Superannuation Benefits on Hardship Grounds – Income Support Requirements Met.
How much can I receive?
Providing your application is approved, you may be paid a single lump sum of $1,000 to $10,000 in any 12-month period. All payments are subject to PAYG tax.
No more than one payment can be made in any 12-month period.
Your lump sum can be less than $1,000 if your preserved benefit is less than $1,000.